Cambodia: Compromise offer on US 'dirty debt'

Cambodia has offered to repay 30 per cent of the debt owed to the US, as a "compromise" over money which it says was used by a pro-American government in the 1970s to repress its own people.

The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had asked the US to forgive what he called the "dirty debt" built up by the Lon Nol military government that came to power in a 1970 coup backed by Washington.

Cambodia proposed yesterday that the rest be converted into development aid at interest of 1 per cent, rather than the 3 per cent demanded by Washington.